- Birth date: November 6, 1968
- Birthplace: Laos
- Resides: Temecula, California
Jerry Yang has only been playing poker part-time for two-and-a-half years. In 2007 he qualified for the World Series of Poker via a satellite tournament at his local card room, Pechanga Resort and Casino.
He is a psychologist and social worker by profession and originally wanted to go to medical school. He applied and was accepted, but instead became a missionary for a short while.
Jerry Yang World Series of Poker 2007
Yang was the surprise package at the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, stunning a host of professional players amongst a field of 6 357 players to secure the gold bracelet and a whopping $8.25 million in prize money.
On the final day, Yang was the second to shortest stack. He claims his strategy of being aggressive from the outset was his only chance of victory.
Yang has been criticised for his unusual playing style following his aggressive play at the Main Event final table, but he knocked all but one player off the final table on his way to victory.
Jerry Yang Poker Trivia
- Yang’s total investment in the satellite tournament that saw him qualify for the 2007 WSOP was $225!
- At the 2007 WSOP final table Yang won more than half the total number of hands played
- Whenever going all in, Yang kissed a photograph of his children and often said a prayer. After Yang won with a gutshot straight high on the river, the ESPN commentator asked if this was the most tournament poker God had ever watched.
- Yang’s family fled Laos when communists invaded in the 1970s. They spent four years in a refugee camp in Thailand, where Yang lost a brother and a sister. He moved to the US in 1979
- Yang has a Master’s Degree in health psychology and says that it helped him to make decisions during tournament play
- He pledged to donate 10% of his winnings to children’s charities – including the Make a Wish Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, and Feed the Children.